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View Full Version : Ouch -- Zags' RPI plummets



GoZags
01-25-2009, 07:08 AM
Per Jerry Palm's premium site -- www.collegerpi.com -- last night's victory over LMU saw GU's RPI move from #41 to #51 (GU was #34 prior to Thursday night's Pepperdine game -- so the two wins in the LA area cost 17 spots in the RPI). St. Mary's is currently one slot behind Gonzaga, coming in at #52.

FuManShoes
01-25-2009, 07:21 AM
Tennessee losing - again - didn't help, nor did Maryland getting thrashed by Duke. Sadly the Zags have few wins over teams that have beaten anyone of note. Hopefully the NCAA seeders do in fact watch game film to judge a team's worth.

spudzag
01-25-2009, 07:52 AM
One of the joys of playing in a mid-major conference.

GoZags
01-25-2009, 08:07 AM
The Zags will be fine. They have two wins over Top 25 RPI and a 3rd win over a Top 50. They have a chance for 4 more "quality" wins.

As a comparison, right now the Gaels have zero wins over a Top 50 RPI opponent.

The Zags will be fine.

bballbeachbum
01-25-2009, 08:18 AM
I hear you FuMan! They watch the film, but the issue I think is what they do with the knowledge they gain.

Whatever we do the rest of the way, I think we can rest assured that the tournament committee will seed us with their middle finger. This I have learned over the years...I hope everyone has at this point. Davidson was the clincher..as if one was needed, and remains an excellent example of the seeding committee using their knowledge to seed!

It's one thing to turn the other cheek, or be the bigger person, or handle defeat with humility--I love and respect these abilities.

It's another to get screwed and pretend it didn't happen--I don't respect that. Who does?

Basically, the networks LOVE Cinderella, which we no longer are, and the power conferences HATE a legitimate, threatening challenge to their power structure, and so

The Power Conferences HATE us. They are loaded with spoiled fans, and embrace opportunities to show anyone who challenges them exactly who the Man is...and they are the Man, make no mistake. Nothing new here--see Utah receiving the middle finger trophy from the BCS as the most recent proof positive of their mentality, their media's mentality, etc.

Yes, it's about money. Again, see BCS.

It makes the whole seeding discussion just this side of irrelevant to me. That's NOT a jab at all of you discussing our seeding this year!!! It's important to me too, but we're powerless in so many ways here, which I am trying to explain (maybe not so well, or maybe you all know this already!) and I expect the worst. Heck, I say bring it on!!!

imho, we need to recognize this as fact WITHOUT playing the victim. Be tough together, circle the wagons, use this as fuel to turn the tables on these tactics, and feed it to those who deserve it.

I bet Utah gets off on being dissed!!! They take it out on the field, very cool, and that's where we need to express our, umm, displeasure, at being on the receiving end of that finger.

But no victims, man. I want to win.


OK, so who is going to tell me the seedings are done fairly and we get an even shake? Kitty corner travel to the lower seeds home state to play the early east coast game as a west coast team...I could go on re. the negative intangibles. That was Davidson, and that is total BS...or should I say BCS.

GO ZAGS!!!

GoZags
01-25-2009, 08:30 AM
The Zags needed to win more games to avoid the "woe is me" and got screwed by the committee" scenarios you've described. I believe the bias real. Thus, it's simple, the Zags need to win more games.

'04/'05 and '06 -- the Zags finished each year in the Top 10 RPI and received a 2/3/3 seed. They won the games they needed to, and took it out of the committee's hands.

Our program is in the best conference for the school. It's all in the Zags' hands. They just need to win games to be seeded fairly (IMHO).

beatProgram
01-25-2009, 08:31 AM
Meh. Seeding?

Just win.

CarolinaZagFan
01-25-2009, 08:32 AM
I hear you FuMan! They watch the film, but the issue I think is what they do with the knowledge they gain.

Whatever we do the rest of the way, I think we can rest assured that the tournament committee will seed us with their middle finger. This I have learned over the years...I hope everyone has at this point. Davidson was the clincher..as if one was needed, and remains an excellent example of the seeding committee using their knowledge to seed!

It's one thing to turn the other cheek, or be the bigger person, or handle defeat with humility--I love and respect these abilities.

It's another to get screwed and pretend it didn't happen--I don't respect that. Who does?

Basically, the networks LOVE Cinderella, which we no longer are, and the power conferences HATE a legitimate, threatening challenge to their power structure, and so

The Power Conferences HATE us. They are loaded with spoiled fans, and embrace opportunities to show anyone who challenges them exactly who the Man is...and they are the Man, make no mistake. Nothing new here--see Utah receiving the middle finger trophy from the BCS as the most recent proof positive of their mentality, their media's mentality, etc.

Yes, it's about money. Again, see BCS.

It makes the whole seeding discussion just this side of irrelevant to me. That's NOT a jab at all of you discussing our seeding this year!!! It's important to me too, but we're powerless in so many ways here, which I am trying to explain (maybe not so well, or maybe you all know this already!) and I expect the worst. Heck, I say bring it on!!!

imho, we need to recognize this as fact WITHOUT playing the victim. Be tough together, circle the wagons, use this as fuel to turn the tables on these tactics, and feed it to those who deserve it.

I bet Utah gets off on being dissed!!! They take it out on the field, very cool, and that's where we need to express our, umm, displeasure, at being on the receiving end of that finger.

But no victims, man. I want to win.


OK, so who is going to tell me the seedings are done fairly and we get an even shake? Kitty corner travel to the lower seeds home state to play the early east coast game as a west coast team...I could go on re. the negative intangibles. That was Davidson, and that is total BS...or should I say BCS.

GO ZAGS!!!

Nailed it... I am an ECU alum and it is the same way for us in football. UNC and NC State have been trying to hold us back in football for years even though year in/year out we beat them on the field. We have about 24,000 students, slightly less than NC State and more than UNC, but the UNC system gives those two schools 75 percent of the state's money while we get around 10 percent. Therefore allowing us not to be able to have the facilities they have, or to pay the coaches the money they deserve (Skip Holtz will surely leave in the near future.) The power conferences in basketball are the same way as the BCS in football. They will do everything they can to look out for their own, and not give other schools a fighting chance. Maybe the BCS and power conferences in basketball are THE MAN!!!

DOWN WITH THE MAN!!!!!!!!!!!

MDABE80
01-25-2009, 09:25 AM
Those losses matter more as the season wears on. Just the way it is. Fact: the only way GU progresses is to continue winning games. It's all that the Zags can do. We can't changes conferences (this year anyway) and we can't change opponents. We must beat everyone left on the schedule.

BCS'ers do not like the small schools in their kitchens..... but we've known that forever. When it's all said and done, GU must manufacture victories. No other options. Winning is the only way that we control our destiny.

BobZag
01-25-2009, 09:43 AM
Kudos to Butler and Siena.

LuvZags
01-25-2009, 11:10 AM
It seems in seasons past, Zags winnings have been downplayed, due to their conference. Not a lot of tough competition, until recent seasons. Why punish or hold back a team due to their conference? Sure, the WCC may not be as tough as the Big East or the ACC, but do the schools or programs get to decide what conference they belong to??? The Zags have proven in seasons back that they are not afraid to go up against these "powerhouse" teams, and can even hold their own against them. So when it comes to seeding, I don't believe that conference should matter as much as it does.

So, I agree with BBall. The whole seeding BS is pointless. It is just another way for the UNC'S and the Duke's to prove how wonderful they are, and how we all pale in comparison.

I'm not sure it will matter to the committee that teams in those powerhouse conferences have lost games too.

All season long, we have heard about the depth of the Bulldogs, and how that could be a potential Final 4 team, but that won't matter at seeding time. Truth of the matter is, if we are good enough to get a great seed, then it shouldn't matter what seed we get. If we have the depth and potential to be a Final 4 team, then we will have to get there the honest way.

Win games against tough competitors. Prove to the neysayers that we have the ability, strength, depth, and talent to get to the Final 4. We don't need to be a number 1,2,3; playing against a team that is seeded 15, and thinking it's an easy win. We know there is almost no such thing as an easy win when it comes to March Madness.

I will take an honest, well-deserved win over an over the top win anyday. As UNC has proven this year, you can't stay on top forever. I'd rather the Zags work their way there.

Shanachie
01-25-2009, 01:32 PM
Whatever we do the rest of the way, I think we can rest assured that the tournament committee will seed us with their middle finger. This I have learned over the years...

OK, so who is going to tell me the seedings are done fairly and we get an even shake? Kitty corner travel to the lower seeds home state to play the early east coast game as a west coast team...I could go on re. the negative intangibles. That was Davidson, and that is total BS...or should I say BCS.




It's funny how this perception prevails with some GU fans. Looking at what each GU team accomplished prior to the tournament, it is frankly hard to dispute any seed the Zags have received. In general, the Zags have had no beef in seeding. Tough matchups and locations sometimes, especially in '02 and '08, but no real complaint about the seed. Minnesota could have had the same gripe in '99.

I remember being livid at the Zags' 6 seed in '02, but in hindsight, my anger was based on rating and hype. When I learned (much later) more about what the committee actually bases seeding on (namely RPI, SOS, etc.), I realized that the 6 seed was not out of line.

The following is taken from kenpom.com (http://kenpom.com/rpi.php?y=2008) Unfortunately, he stopped doing the RPI tables this year.


Year Seed RPI Record SOS 1-50 51-100 101-200 200+
98-99 10 42 24-6 149 1-4 0-0 13-2 10-0
99-00 10 35 24-8 97 1-3 3-3 11-2 9-0
00-01 12 75 23-6 212 0-2 4-2 7-2 12-0
01-02 6 20 28-3 132 2-2 5-1 9-0 12-0
02-03 9 43 23-8 92 1-5 4-1 9-0 9-2
03-04 2 9 27-2 85 2-2 3-0 19-0 3-0
04-05 3 10 25-4 52 5-2 2-2 15-0 3-0
05-06 3 10 27-3 95 3-3 3-0 16-0 5-0
06-07 10 60 23-10 93 2-5 4-3 11-2 6-0
07-08 7 30 25-7 93 4-5 5-2 4-0 12-0


The bottom line for me is that the committee has to seed based on what a team accomplishes, not based on the "talent" that committee members see on a team. Basing invitations and seeds on perceived talent on a team is what used to favor the nth team from a BCS conference over a good team from a small conference. The RPI is far from perfect (and in any case is only one tool available to the committee), but it's better than a totally subjective selection process.

As others have said, just win and things will work out fine.

CDC84
01-25-2009, 02:37 PM
Gonzaga has some big opportunities the next 3 weeks to raise their RPI. There is no denying that the WCC sked the last 2 weeks has hurt them.

Some random thoughts:

The NCAA tournament committee's charge is to protect its highest seeded teams. It's to make sure they do everything possible, seeding wise, to make sure the top 4 seeds in each region get to the 2nd weekend. While objective criteria is and should be the main component, it isn't the only one in all cases, and most analysts know that. If Gonzaga were to somehow win out, I assure you they will be getting a favorable seed that doesn't directly correspond to their RPI. This is why a guy like Joe Lunardi is saying that a 3 seed is still in the cards, despite the fact that it seems improbable that GU will ever have a RPI that matches that.

For one thing, the committee has a history of loving teams which carry huge winning streaks into the dance. And I do think that "perceived talent" can play a role in such instances. Sometimes teams go through a rough patch early on in the season, but then emerge as the formidable team they were supposed to be to begin with. The last thing the committee wants to do is stick a one or two seed with some team early on that's won 20+ straight games, has high major talent and has barely lost in the games they've lost. They want the elite seeds to advance. What the committee is not going to do is reward some team that was supposed to be great at the start of the year based on their talent, but who never really got it together at any point during the season.

As for the 2002 six seed, regardless of what the RPI says, that seed is still regarded by most college basketball analysts as one of the worst seeds ever handed to a team since the field was expanded. It wasn't just Gonzaga fans who felt that the seed was bad. The fact that the game was played on the homecourt of a MWC school against the MWC champion just added fuel to the fire. That was the only time where GU got truly ripped off, and the national media knew it. The media's outrage set forth several changes.....

That seed completely changed the way the committee looks at and evaluates teams from outside the BCS leagues. From that point forward, the seeds for 28-win non-BCS teams improved, and the committee started regularly excluding BCS teams from the field who played terrible non-league skeds. The committee began to realize that you cannot punish teams for the league they play in, provided they play and beat some good teams out of conference. They also recognized that teams who win 28 games do so because they are very, very good, and that its unfair to punish high seeds with first weekend games against those teams. You can't fake your way into 28 wins.

I know that we still see teams slighted in terms of seeding like Butler was last season, but it happens far, far less than it used to 6 or 7 years ago. In fact, the reason why we are seeing less upsets in the tournament the last few years is because the committee has gotten better at seeding the field correctly, and putting high quality non-BCS teams in a more appropriate place. When the committee screws over a team with seeding, it's not about the team that was screwed over....it's about the team that has to play them and shouldn't have to based on their high seed.

Shanachie
01-25-2009, 05:08 PM
CDC, I'll concede 2002. You have a better understanding of the broader college basketball landscape than I do, so maybe the Zags' 6 was as bad as I thought at the time. I haven't noticed much difference in how non-BCS teams have been seeded since 2002, though. The Zags, for example, have been seeded about where you'd expect them to be based on RPI, SOS, and record vs. 1-50, etc.

I do agree that the committee looks at things other than RPI and that the Zags have a chance at a 3 or 4 if they come win out.

This is where we might disagree though:


For one thing, the committee has a history of loving teams which carry huge winning streaks into the dance. And I do think that "perceived talent" can play a role in such instances. Sometimes teams go through a rough patch early on in the season, but then emerge as the formidable team they were supposed to be to begin with. The last thing the committee wants to do is stick a one or two seed with some team early on that's won 20+ straight games, has high major talent and has barely lost in the games they've lost. They want the elite seeds to advance. What the committee is not going to do is reward some team that was supposed to be great at the start of the year based on their talent, but who never really got it together at any point during the season.

Are you saying this is how the committee does act, or how it shoud act, or both? I think that approach stinks. You wouldn't seed teams in a conference tourney that way, would you? Of course not. Seed them based on what they actually did on the court and not based on anything else. Same goes for injuries in my book. I don't think it's right for a team to get a better seed because they got a player back that had been out with an injury, or on the flip side, a worse seed because they have a player out with an injury for the tournament.

CDC84
01-25-2009, 06:06 PM
Personally, I think all games should matter, and the last 10 games that a team plays shouldn't matter more than the first ten, but the committee continues to use this as a criteria. So if Gonzaga carries a 19 game winning streak into the tourney, it will probably impress the committee. I don't agree with everything that they do. The "last 10" criteria is a total joke because not everyone's last 10 games are the same in terms of level of difficulty....even within a major conference. That criteria also, in a way, can diminish the accomplishments of programs like Xavier, Memphis and Gonzaga who play inverted schedules and who most often achieve their best wins in November and early December.

6 or 7 years ago, the tourney committee would've never given Drake a 5 seed like they did last March. They wouldn't have given Southern Illinois a 4 seed like they did in 2007. Heck, they probably wouldn't have even given Kent State a 9 seed like they did last March. Things have improved. One could argue that they still need to improve, but at least I can go into every March knowing that if Gonzaga did something in their non-league sked, and if they had won 28 games, they would have a good chance of getting a good seed. Back in 2003, I had no such confidence.

I disagree with you on the injuries...to a degree. It depends on the player, how important that player is to the team's success, and if the team proves to be dominant with that player.

Let's say that Oklahoma didn't have Blake Griffin for the first half of the season. The Sooners lose several games outside of their league. Then Griffin appears, stays healthy the whole year, and the Sooners win the regular and postseason Big 12 titles while blowing out almost everyone they play. Griffin's injury has to be taken into consideration when assigning OU a seed. If you don't do that, some one seed type team like Duke or Pitt is going to be stuck playing a national championship caliber team in the 2nd or 3rd round. The committee's job is to protect those high seeds, and if it means that someone loses a seed line who has lost less games than OU, so be it. There is enough evidence to suggest that Griffin's absence had a significant effect on OU's non-league performance.

The problem with the injury criteria is that the players who are injured are often still not 100% (despite what the school may claim) and they are nowhere near as good as Blake Griffin is. In other words, the effect of that player on a team's performance isn't so clear cut. Still, I think the committee has a right to use it as a criteria in certain exceptional cases.

For me - and the committee at various points as intimated the same thing -this whole process is about doing everything possible to make sure the top 4 seed lines in each region make it to the sweet 16. That's the goal of seeding. For the most part, that means giving seeds based on what teams have accomplished. But there are additional, more subjective criteria that should go into the decision making process at times....in very small doses, and in the right circumstances. I just think they have to be very careful about it, and not let it completely override what's on paper.

DrDrivel
01-25-2009, 08:54 PM
Two things:

First, the networks only love cinderellas for the early rounds. After that, they want the huge fan-bases of mega state schools and regional powerhouses.

Second, it sucks that GU's RPI took a hit, but on a brighter note, Pepperdine's and LMU's RPIs received a nice little spike.

bballbeachbum
01-26-2009, 07:39 AM
I hear you Shanachie, and good points you make.

I guess my point is that it's not the number of the seeding that matters, it's the matchup they give you, it's where the game is played, and to some extent, when it's played. We had a higher seed than Davidson, but they played in their backyard while we travelled further than any other team...as the higher seed. Personally, I also think it's huge who refs the game; what conferences do they represent?

But in total agreement with all here, just win and the rest falls into place. We can do this.

Butler Guy
01-26-2009, 08:26 AM
If Gonzaga was really worrying about the "Last 10" thing, the Bracket Buster event is an answer. St Mary's is going to get a decent match-up, I'd imagine Utah State. But if things fell the right way, they still might be able to draw Butler.

The entire thing was created for teams who play "inverted schedules".

Angelo Roncalli
01-26-2009, 08:33 AM
GU's participation in Bracketbuster has essentially been replaced by our ongoing series with Memphis.